Unsurprisingly the two cities have a rivalry going, and if ever I mentioned to someone from Edinburgh that I hadn’t been to Glasgow, their reaction was ‘Och! Dinnae bother!’. (Alternatively I learned that Glaswegians – or ‘Weegies’ – have a saying: “The only good thing to come out of Edinburgh is a train to Glasgow”).
Jenny is from Glasgow, and when she met me at the station she suggested we do an open-top tourist bus tour because (being a local), she’d never done one.
Our hilarious tour guide was Mary, who pointed out important architecture and history, but also said things like “In Glasgow, we don’t get arrested, we get ‘lifted'”, and “We knocked down many lovely and historic buildings to build this overpass.”
Glasgow is not like Edinburgh. It’s much more industrial, with it’s ship building yards and whatnot. But it does have some beautiful buildings, and good advice for visiting Glasgow is to spend a lot of time looking up.
We got off the bus in the West End and wandered around, hitting the Kelvingrove Art Gallery:
We got coffee and then went to a Middle Eastern deli, and a crazy used bookshop.
We had a picnic in a park with our babagaoush and tabouleh, and found the man at the deli had slipped us an extra piece of baklava. We also had Shani, a Middle Eastern softdrink – the can will stab you in the face if you’re not careful. (The surprised shop owner, when we paid for our lunch, said ‘You know Shani?’ Um, no, we just saw an interesting can collecting dust behind the juice in your cooler, that isn’t actually turned on. We loved that shop).
We hit a vintage clothing store and a wee pub down an alley that sold Belgian Raspberry beer.
Much is made of Glasgow’s shopping opportunities (“Second only to London in the UK!”) but as I’m a tightwad who already owns more than will fit in her backpack, there was no need for that. Glasgow also has excellent night life and gets more live music gigs than Edinburgh, so I hope to make it back again for that before I leave Scotland.
So it’s official – I like Glasgow! Just don’t tell anyone from Edinburgh.